Madagascar

Rajoelina not to run in Madagascar elections

AFP

Transitional leader Andry Rajoelina announced Wednesday evening that he will not run for office in presidential elections in Madagascar this November. The military-backed leader said in a national television address that he wished to see through the establishment of a stable government in a neutral manner, adding he was "sacrificing myself for the sake of the Malagasys."

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Rajoelina also detailed a road map for the transition, including a "national debate" in May, a constitutional referendum in August and legislative elections in September.

"I have owned up to my responsibilities, and I hope the international community will help us by owning up to theirs."

Rajoelina became leader with support from the military in March 2009, after weeks of sometimes violent street protests that ousted former president Marc Ravalomanana.

An internationally-backed power-sharing accord was signed last November to resolve the political crisis, but Rajoelina later reneged, prompting sanctions and a cut-off of aid that led to the collapse of the country's economy.

The military insisted he provide a road map out of the crisis, which he promised to unveil during a new round of talks in South Africa last week.

"I am a man of my word and will not change my mind," Rajoelina said in an exclusive interview with RFI.

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